• Morag McIntosh

Debt see-saw

Debt see-saw

You know see-saws? Maybe you know them as teeter-totters? They are pretty common pieces of playground equipment in Canada. They are basically big levers with seats at either end. You and a friend would each get on an opposite end (or possibly you and your friend on one end and an older bigger kid on the other end) and you’d each take turns kicking up off the ground and hoisting each other in the air. If you kicked off hard enough, or you had a really big kid on the other side it was possible to almost launch yourself off the see-saw and hanging on became really important! It was hard on the butt, but in the moment when you were being swung up in the air it felt like you could fly. If you were a real dare devil you sat in the middle of the see-saw and tried to keep your balance as the teeter-totter went up and down.


Your finances are like a see-saw. On one end you have all of your debts and the other end you have all of your assets and in the middle you have all of your money. The more debt you have the more the teeter totter seems to tilt that way. If your finances are balanced you are in stasis, which is better than being in debt but hard to maintain, any small movement will tilt you one way or the other. The more assets you have the easier it seems to keep the money flowing that way.


But there is one part of the teeter-totter that gets forgotten. It’s really the most important part. It’s the fulcrum in the middle. That fulcrum is knowledge. The less you have the more work it is to budge your debt, making it harder to lift yourself out of debt than it has to be. The more you know however the closer that fulcrum moves to working in your favour.

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